Essay William Shakespeare 's Othello - A Hero 's Downfall

1063 Words May 4th, 2015 5 Pages
A Hero’s Downfall

In Othello, by William Shakespeare, widespread manipulation and deceit shape the personalities of several characters throughout the play. The first 3 acts expose the conflicts between characters due to their overpowering ambitions and everlasting jealousy. Iago, a key manipulator in the play, maintains his role as the villain through his devious plans, specifically by exploiting Othello’s vulnerability. Through numerous plots to sabotage and disrupt lives, Shakespeare reveals the true deception of human nature. Iago is able to manipulate Othello’s opinion of Desdemona because Othello is inexperienced in love; this circumstance reveals that, despite the appearance of having a heroic personality, Othello is essentially deeply insecure. Prior to Iago’s manipulations, Othello’s vulnerability is at its peak, therefore making it easy for Iago to influence Othello and deepen his insecurities. Throughout the play Othello is referred to in a demeaning manner by many characters including Iago, ultimately contributing to his lack of belonging and worth. Iago realizes that any small insecurity will propel Othello into a state of self-doubt. One way in which Iago belittles Othello is through commenting on his race. Racism in Othello plays a large role as Iago convinces Othello that there will always be someone more racially compatible for Desdemona: Ay, there’s the point. As, to be bold with you, Not to affect many proposèd matches…

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